In the fall of 1996, the Center for Geographic Information Science (GIS) at James Madison University became involved in a Department of Defense project, under the auspices of Essex/Star Mountain, Inc. This project evaluated the data needs and data management systems for humanitarian demining in the Third World. In particular, it focused on the information needs of demining in Cambodia and in Bosnia. During the first phase of the project one team of researchers attempted to identify all sources of unclassified country data, image data, and map data. Another team of researchers evaluated commercial off-the-shelf computer software packages for the management of geographical information. The result was a design for the kinds of data and the kinds of systems necessary to establish and maintain a database to be used as a humanitarian demining management tool. The second phase of the work involved acquiring the recommended data and systems, integrating the two, and producing a demonstration of the system. In general, the configuration involves ruggedized portable computers for field use with a greatly simplified graphical user interface. This system is supported by a more capable central facility equipped with Pentium workstations and manned by technical experts.



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